OPSA president Rebecca
Swindells talks to reporter Vaughan Elder about what O-Week
means for polytechnic students.
Otago Polytechnic Students' Association (OPSA) president
Rebecca Swindells (22) says O-Week is not just for
university students and serves as a welcome for polytechnic
students as well. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Q: Do polytechnic students
feel left out, with much of the focus of O-Week being on
students are welcome to any event held by OUSA, as are
members of the public welcome to most events, so no, I doubt
polytechnic students feel left out. We have events and days
that we try to coincide with OUSA so our students feel just
as part of O-Week as the university students - which is what
O-week is about, welcoming all students.
Q: Why do you think having
O-Week is important?
A: Orientation is a
great chance for students to learn more about the city, the
campuses and the services that OPSA and OUSA provide. That
includes services we provide separately on our own campuses
and services we provide together with OUSA, for example Clubs
and Societies. Orientation is a great time for students to
recognise the city as their home for the duration of their
study and a place to stay after they have completed their
study. It is also a great time for me to get out and meet the
students and find out what they want from their students'
association during the year.
Q: Does OPSA co-operate with
OUSA in organising O-Week?
A: OPSA doesn't have
any involvement with OUSA regarding the organising of the
events. However, OPSA promotes OUSA orientation events, both
on campus and online. We also guide students and public to
the places to buy orientation tickets. We have previously
sold tickets from our office. However, this stopped a few
years ago as online ticket purchases seemed to be more
Q: How does OPSA help welcome
polytechnic students to Dunedin?
A: OPSA has a two-week
orientation line-up to welcome our polytechnic students to
town and to the campus and we also have ways we welcome
distance students who are studying with us. Our events are
mostly lunchtime events so our students can also attend OUSA
events and include a welcome barbecue, a welcome breakfast,
our twice-yearly quiz night and a staff v student football
game. We are also selling subsidised tickets to the Warriors
game, the Highlanders game and the Phoenix game. For distance
students, we are having a daily Facebook quiz as well as a